No Samuel is still not here yet — I’ve got about 3 1/2 weeks to go give or take, but there are a lot of things that need to get done and a lot of things that don’t necessarily have to be done before baby comes home.
Today is Jan. 15 — my due date is Feb. 10 — and I just cleaned Samuel’s room out and organized it today. Everything is in there except for his crib, which is at my mom’s and will probably be brought over after he’s born.
I’ve noticed this time around I’ve been so much more laid back about what I wanted to have before bringing the baby home. With Josiah we had EVERYTHING (except for the crib, which got here when Josiah was a few weeks old — I’ll explain later) way before he got here. Honestly, we had most everything we needed for the first year of his life before I got pregnant (minus clothes). His baby room was done by 20 weeks and it just got more and more stocked closer to time for him to be born.
After Josiah turned a year old, I looked back at all the things that I was prepared for and wasn’t prepared for and all of the baby gear that I had that I thought was an excellent asset and what I found out later was less necessity and more luxury and rarely got used.
Of course the basics are covered — we have Samuel’s car seat and we know how to install it. As a matter of fact it will probably go into my car within the next week just to get Josiah accustomed to the new seating arrangement.
The next most important thing was getting his sleeping arrangements taken care of. Because I knew I was breastfeeding with Josiah and will this time, we’d gotten a playpen with a bassinet in it for Josiah for in our bedroom (which is why he didn’t have a crib for the first month). That way for the first month or so Josiah could be in the room with me and make it easier to nurse without bringing him into bed with me (that still ended up happening some though) — when I ended up having a c-section it was even better because those first few days were hard to get around and I’m glad I only had to walk a few feet every few hours as opposed to him being in the next room.
Part of this is a preference thing. I know some women who don’t even think twice about baby sleeping in the bed with them from day 1 and I know some women who’d never even consider letting the baby sleep in the room period. Breastfed babies wake up more frequently than formula babies, especially in the beginning. For me, it was easier having him right there and like I said before, it made c-section recovery a little easier.
We’ve got Samuel’s playpen bassinet ready to go, which is why his bed won’t arrive until after he’s born. My plans are actually to sleep in the living room for the first few nights because I had a hard time sitting up and getting out of bed to get Josiah after the surgery and I think sleeping in a reclined position will be easier.
Here are the other things we have or will have for Samuel that we thought were important to have immediately:
- Swing. We had a small fold up swing for Josiah. The size was mostly due to the tiny apartment, but I found it convenient that I could take my swing with me places. We don’t have one yet, but we will be getting another swing. Samuel does have a bouncer, but if he’s anything like Josiah the swing will be necessary.
- Sling. With Josiah I had one of those nifty strap on baby carriers that someone had given me. For us, it was pretty much useless. It wasn’t comfortable for us or for Josiah. However, I do have one of those neat slings that I got a Rhea Lana and I plan on using that quite a bit.
- Nursing pillow. Actually, we have two. I still have the one I used for Josiah and I bought one that is slightly smaller at the summer Rhea Lana sale. The nursing pillow was used a little bit in the beginning when I started nursing, but honestly we mostly used it to prop Josiah up and interact with him. As Josiah got older, Jimmi used it as a pillow — seriously. I actually have a photo of Jimmi using it as a pillow — it was taken about 20 minutes before my water broke.
- Breast pump. When Josiah was born I only had a hand held pump for those first several days and I was not prepared for the painfully engorged breasts I had when my milk came in. Once I got an electric pump everything was great. Even though I’m staying home and won’t be leaving Samuel very often by himself, it will be nice to have some supply stocked up for every now and then. I already have my electric pump ready to go this time around.
- Baby monitors. Although it won’t be necessary for that first month or so, having a baby monitor was important. When I’m not pregnant I’m a heavy sleeper and would never be able to hear Samuel in his room down the hall. I was excited to get these at the last Rhea Lana for $5 (they look and sound like the monitors from ‘Signs’ — Jimmi found that funny).
- Crib/bassinet. Pretty self explanatory…also a car seat…pretty self explanatory.
Here are a few things that we will eventually get, but we don’t have yet and unless someone buys it for us — we won’t have until I go Rhea Lana shopping in March.
- High chair. With Josiah I had the highchair long before he was born. Actually my Dad bought it at a yard sale for $10 a few months before Josiah was born. The funny thing is, it sat there until he was about 6 months old. It really isn’t necessary for a baby to start eating any type of solid until they’re around 6 months old. Yes, I know that some people start putting cereal in baby’s bottle at 6 weeks old, but that doesn’t mean the need it (or that it’s good for them). Baby’s get all the nutrition they need from breastmilk or formula for those first several months, so when solid food is started is more about preference. I started introducing some baby foods to Josiah around 6 months because that’s when he started acting interested. By the time he could walk (right around the time he turned 1), we had him sitting at a little picnic table beside the table instead of sitting in a highchair. So the chair only got used for about 6 months. If we end up buying our own chair, I’ll probably get the kind that sits in a chair at the table as opposed to a regular high chair. I know a few moms who don’t use a highchair at all and then again I know a few moms who use a highchair until the kid can’t fit into it anymore.
- Baby toy stuff. We still have a few toys of Josiah’s, but I haven’t worried about trying to buy any at this point. There are a ton of cute toys out there, but I have more pictures of Josiah playing with my plastic bowls and wooden spoons than I do of him playing with these nifty (and sometimes expensive) baby toys.
- Childproofing products. This is something that we’ll eventually get, but until he’s about 6 months old, we don’t really need it. So it’s not something that I have to stress about buying now.
And finally…things that we probably won’t get at all because we don’t find it necessary or didn’t use it much the last time:
- Diaper genie. First of all, we’re using cloth diapers, so for us this would be useless. With Josiah, since we did use disposable diapers, we had a diaper genie and I think I filled it up one time and emptied it and never used it again. I didn’t see the point in it honestly. It’s a special trash can for diapers — when you have an infant (and especially other children) your trash will get changed out plenty. The genie just requires one more kind of accessory to buy (FYI: The genie is about $20 and the refills are $12). Remember, this is about preference. I’m sure there are some people that feel they can’t live without their diaper genie.
- Changing table. I never got a changing table for Josiah because despite my initial “ooh, baby stuff, must have” feeling, I didn’t think I’d use it. And sure enough, once Josiah got here I never once thought, “Man I wish I had a changing table.” Why? Because when I was in the bedroom, I changed him on the bed. When I was in the living room, I changed him on the floor or on the couch where I was sitting. If he was in his room, I just changed him in his bed. Babies need their diapers changed A LOT, especially if you don’t let them sit in it for too long. I’m not getting up and taking a baby to the designated changing table 15 times or more a day. Besides, these are super expensive and I’m all about saving money.
- Pacifiers. Ooh…this is a touchy one. With Josiah I think I finally gave him a pacifier when he was about a month and a half old. And basically that was at a moment of weakness and it was there so I used it. Babies who are breastfed are not supposed to get a pacifier until they have completely gotten used to nursing, otherwise they will get lazy and not nurse properly. Even when we did start giving it to him, it was primarily for soothing and going to sleep. We didn’t let him just keep it in his mouth ALL THE TIME. This time around I plan to avoid it altogether because I don’t think it is necessary and there are many parents who go without it.
There are a ton of things that I didn’t mention I’m sure because there are about 10 million different things you can buy for baby — these are just a few of the things I see listed as “things you need” on most of the baby websites.
The other thing the sites tell you is to make sure the house is clean and you have pre-made meals ready so you don’t have to cook. Well, I definitely agree with getting the house clean because there are going to be a ton of people dropping by randomly to see baby in the first few months and since I won’t be cleaning much once Samuel gets here I want to make sure it looks decent ahead of time.
As far preparing freezer meals and crock pot meals that I can easily cook — I’m not so worried about. With Josiah I didn’t really do that at all. I did make sure that there were simple things to make like spaghetti or tacos. I’ve been working on canning beans (I’m listening to the pressure cooker right now actually) and refried beans and other stuff we’ll eat that I won’t have to buy. I’ll also make sure I’ve got stuff for soup and spaghetti and other easy meals. It may not be the norm, but Jimmi doesn’t mind cooking and he’s pretty capable of cooking a variety of meals so he’ll probably help with the majority of the cooking for that first week. Then, just like with Josiah, by week 2 or 3 I’ll be back to cooking. I find that I don’t like sitting still too long, even after surgery and I’ll be ready to get back to doing my normal thing sooner than later.
So, pretty much, as of today we’re ready to bring Samuel home. Now we just have to wait until Samuel is ready to make his big arrival!